Good news spreads fast, which is probably why Ike’s Place -- the legendary sandwich chain with 18 outposts spanning from San Francisco’s Mission District to Mesa, AZ -- was mobbed from the moment it opened its first San Diego location. Ike says he’s been thinking about expanding into San Diego for the past two years because it’s one of his “favorite cities in the world,” so when the owners of The Hub shopping center in Hillcrest approached him about opening a location in the property, he jumped at the chance. Now we’re the ones jumping (for joy, and maybe to burn a few calories) before taking down one of Ike’s delicious creations.
If you’re not familiar with Ike’s Place, the most important thing to know is that Ike’s famous Dirty Sauce (essentially garlic aioli with a load of different spices) is a must. It’s baked right into the bread and spread on every sandwich by default. According to Ike, skipping the signature sauce is the “only wrong decision” you can make at Ike’s, adding “it’s not an Ike’s sandwich without Dirty Sauce.” All sandwiches are served on your choice of bread, including French, sourdough, whole wheat, gluten-free Bread, or the signature option: Dutch Crunch -- a soft roll with a rice flour crust. (You can also get your sandwich in a lettuce wrap or as a salad if bread isn’t your jam.)
To help you pan for gold amongst the menu’s 36 different options, we asked owner Ike Shehadeh for some top picks. Without further ado, here are the five sandwiches you must try at Ike’s Place:
The sandwich Ike eats the most has a lot going for it, like thinly sliced rib eye, pepper jack & American cheese, a dash of yellow BBQ sauce, and a splash of habanero hot sauce, which gives it a subtle heat. It’s named after the tremendously talented San Francisco Giants pitcher better known as “MadBum.”